PESHAWAR: A total of 11 candidates, including six independents, are trying their luck for the lone National Assembly seat, NA-37, in the Tank district.
The NA-37 constituency was formed by bifurcating NA-25 (Dera Ismail Khan-cum-Tank) as a result of the sixth population census and subsequent delimitation.
The constituency comprises of Tank district while the Dera Ismail Khan areas of the old constituency were included in NA-38 and NA-39 (Dera Ismail Khan).
Asad Mehmood, the son of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islami-Fazl (JUI-F) head Maulana Fazlur Rehman, is contesting the election on the ticket of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA).
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has fielded Habibullah Khan Kundi, a former provincial minister.
Former PTI lawmaker Dawar Khan Kundi is also in the run as an independent candidate. He wasn’t given the ticket after he criticized the party’s policies.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has fielded Samiullah Burki while All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) has put up Nawabzada Saadat Khan.
Six independents, including Ahmad Habibullah Khan Kundi, Saeed Ahmad, Abdul Rehman, Ghulam Badshah, Muhammad Ayub Khan, Muhammad Ramazan and former senator Waqar Ahmad Khan are also in the run.
A tough contest is expected between Asad Mehmood of MMA and Habibullah Kundi of the PTI.
Tank-based journalists and independent observers predict a neck-and-neck contest between the two candidates.
Former MNA Dawar Khan Kundi and Ghulam Badshah Bhittani are also considered strong candidates and are expected to get considerable votes.
Asad Mehmood is contesting the election for the second time. He had lost the by-election on NA-25 Tank in August 2013 to PTI’s Dawar Khan Kundi.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman had won the NA-24 and NA-25 constituencies in the 2013 general election and vacated NA-25.
The NA-25 is considered the stronghold of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F and Maulana Fazlur Rahman has won from this constituency a number of times.
Dawar Khan Kundi was in the PPP when he contested the 2002 and 2008 general elections on its ticket and lost to Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
Tank has a population of 393,000. It has 130,498 male and 77,374 female voters.
Former deputy speaker National Assembly and PPP leader Faisal Karim Kundi, who was contesting the election from NA-37 as independent, has withdrawn in favour of Dawar Khan Kundi.
Though former senator Waqar Ahmad Khan had also submitted nomination papers as an independent candidate, he did not carry out any election campaign and is considered out of the race. He is focusing on the National Assembly constituency in Dera Ismail Khan where he has challenged Maulana Fazlur Rahman.
A tough contest also expected on the sole provincial assembly seat, PK-94 Tank, among MMA, ANP and PTI candidates.
The MMA has fielded former MPA Mehmood Ahmad Khan Bhittani, ANP has put up Ghulam Qadir Bhittani and PTI has given ticket to Irfan Khan Kundi.
As many as 13 candidates, including nine independents, are contesting the election from the constituency.
The PML-N has awarded ticket to Samiullah Khan Burki and PPP to Shah Fahad.
Muhammad Ramzan Shori is an independent candidate of Jat tribe and is expected to get considerable number of votes.
The people of the tribe are disappointed with other parties. They complained that no uplift projects were executed in their area so they have decided to field their own candidate.
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